Conference: The Informed Citizen in Digital Society

What? Conference and workshops
When? Nov. 25th kl. 13-16, follow by Friday bar
Where? AUD 1 // IT University of Copenhagen // Rued Langgaards Vej 7
Sign up here. More information on our website.

The “informed citizen” is an idea and ideal brought forth by philosophers such as Rosseau, who advocated for the informed citizen as the fundamental basis of modern democracy. In an age where we can witness a fundamental shift of information sources, e.g. from traditional newspaper to Facebook, the question of being informed has arguably reached new relevance. Further, in relation to the recent US election, can the outcome be explained through the notion of people being un- or misinformed? If being informed is such a pivotal element of democratic society, does it matter where we find the information? How do we practice the distribution and production of information, and how do we decide what kind of information is important to foster an informed citizenry? These are some of the questions our panel including Henrik Dahl (Liberal Alliance), Rolf Bjerre (Alternativet), Ingrid Ank (Grundtvigsk Forum) and Gitte Stald (ITU) will discuss. The conference is free and we are looking forward to welcome you.

Rapport om Internettet i folketingsvalget 2015 / Report on Internet Use in the 2015 Danish Elections

English summary – see below.

Rapporten Internettet i folketingsvalget 2015 kan hentes her.
(hvis du refererer til rapporten, så angiv venligst følgende som kilde: Hoff, J., Linaa Jensen, J. og Klastrup, L.  (2016). Internettet i folketingsvalget 2015.

Torsdag d. 25. august fremlagde professor Jens Hoff (Københavns Universitet), forskningschef Jakob Linaa Jensen (Danmarks Medie og Journalist højskole) og lektor Lisbeth Klastrup fra IT-Universitetet i København nogle centrale fund fra deres undersøgelse af brugen af internettet i folketingsvalget 2015. Undersøgelsen baserer sig på tal indsamlet fra et survey besvaret af 3590 respondenter, og er udført i samarbejde med Danske Medier. Det er den tredje undersøgelse i træk der ser på danskernes brug af internettet i forbindelse med et folketingsvalg , hvilket betyder, at vi nu har et interessant tidsstudie af hvordan brugen af internettet i forbindelsen med danske folketingsvalg har udviklet sig siden 2007.

Tallene fra 2015 viser – ikke overraskende – at internettet har fået stadig større betydning som kilde til politisk information i forbindelse undervejs i folketingsvalget. Hele 88% af surveydeltagerne havde benyttet sig af internettet til at søge politisk information, og 61% angiver at de har set politisk indhold på sociale medier (angivet som “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, YouTube etc.”). Særligt valgquizzer og tests er blevet populære – hele 60% af deltagerne havde testet deres politiske holdning i en valgquiz eller test. Samtidig ses samme tendens som ved de forrige valg: der er langt flere, der “passivt” søger politisk information i relation til valget end der er folk, der deltager aktivt i valget online (ved fx. selv at deltage i debatter eller poste eget indhold).

For flere fund – for eksempel respondenternes vurdering af hvor meget internettet og de sociale mediers påvirker valgresultatet – se rapporten.

English summary:
This post concerns a report presenting findings from a study of the use of the internet in the Danish Parliamentary elections 2015 carried out in conjuction with the organisation Danske Medier. A research consortium consisting of DECIDIS affiliates Professor Jens Hoff (University of Copenhagen), Research Head Jakob Linaa Jensen (Danish School of Media and Journalism), and local DECIDIS member Associate Professor Lisbeth Klastrup (IT University of Copenhagen) presented findings of the study at an event on August 25th. The report which summarises the findings is now available for free in Danish (for link, see top of post).  An interesting finding is that 88% of the 3.590 survey participants had used the internet to look for political informtation during the election campaign period and  61% stated that they had seen political content on social media,  a notable increase from the use of the internet and social media in during the 2007 and 2011 elections, where similar surveys were sent out and analysed.

Internettet i Folketingsvalget 2015

Hvordan brugte danskerne internettet i relation til folketingsvalget 2015? Hvilken form for politisk information opsøgte de, hvilken betydning havde internettet og hvor meget brugte danskerne de sociale medier?

For tredje folketingsvalg i træk har en kreds af forskere fra Københavns Universitet, Aarhus Universitet, Danmarks Medie- og Journalisthøjskole og IT-Universitetet i samarbejde med Danske Medier undersøgt brugen af internettet i valgkampen med et særligt fokus på sociale medier.

Resultatet er blevet en rapport, som præsenteres og diskuteres på dette seminar. Her vil projektets forskere fremlægge deres resultater og indbyde til diskussion, om blandet andet svaret på ovenstående spørgsmål.

Arrangementet er åbent for alle. Det vil være særligt interessant for partier, interesseorganisationer, medier, forskere og studerende, men alle er velkomne

Den nævnte rapport trykkes i et begrænset oplag. Deltagere på seminaret vil få udleveret rapporten efter første til mølle princippet.

Deltagelse er gratis, men tilmelding kræves. Send mail med dit navn og stilling/arbejdsplads til klastrup@itu.dk med TILMELDING 25. AUGUST i titellinjen.

HVOR: AUDITORIUM 4, IT-UNIVERSITETET

PROGRAM (Facebook-Event)
14.00 Velkomst ved forskergruppen
14.10 Internettet og politisk deltagelse 2007-15
Jakob Linaa Jensen, Forskningschef, Danmarks Medie- og Journalisthøjskole
14.35 Internettet, brugerne og den politiske dagsorden
Jens Hoff, Professor i statskundskab, Københavns Universitet
15.00 Sociale medier i valgkampene 2007-2015
Lisbeth Klastrup, Lektor, IT-Universitetet i København
15.25 Diskussion og opsamling
15.45 Reception og udlevering af rapport

Seminar: Strategisk brug af sociale medier i valgkampen 2015

Se video optagelse (video.itu.dk).

Hvad? Seminar for akademikere og praktikere med udgangspunkt i spritnye data om de sociale mediers rolle under valget 2015
Hvor? Auditorium 1, IT Universitetet, København
Hvornår? Den 27. maj, kl. 13.00-16.00
Hvor meget? Gratis, men tilmelding er nødvendig via Eventbrite

Kom med til et seminar om sociale mediers rolle i valget 2015, når forskningsinitiativet DECIDIS på ITU præsenterer nye fund baseret på deres studier før, under og efter folketingsvalget i 2015. I forbindelse med valget udførte ITUs forskere bl.a. interviews med alle partiernes social media managers, samt indsamlede store mængder af data fra de sociale medier Facebook, Twitter og Instagram. Arrangementet vil være åbent for alle og deltagelsen er gratis, men tilmelding er påkrævet af pladshensyn. Målgruppen for dette arrangement er alle med interesse i medier og politisk kommunikation, både folk med praktisk erfaring og forskere og studerende.

På seminaret vil forskerne præsentere og diskutere, hvordan partier og politikere i Danmark i øjeblikket anvender og forstår sociale medier og deres rolle i den overordnede kampagnestrategi. Vi vil fremlægge generelle tendenser på tværs af partier, og diskutere de forskellige opfattelser og tilgange til platformene med udgangspunkt i vores analyser. Formålet med dagen er bl.a. at bygge bro mellem forskning og praksis. Vi afslutter derfor med en debat om både udfordringer og muligheder ved brugen af sociale medier, både for politikere og partier og for det demokratiske samfund bredt set.

På dagen vil tre forskere fra DECIDIS præsentere deres analyser baseret på interviews samt indsamling af data fra de tre sociale medieplatforme: Facebook, Twitter og Instagram. I sidste del af seminaret vil der være en diskussion med panelet inklusivt mulighed for spørgsmål fra publikum. Diskussionen ledes af ordstyrerne Benjamin Rud Elberth og Astrid Haug, der blandt andet er kendt fra TV2 NEWS programmet Digital Dagsorden.

Efter arrangementet vil der være forfriskninger i atrium med mulighed for networking. PDF

Public Lectures: Critical perspectives on civic agency and social media

Thomas Poell, University of Amsterdam
Julie Uldam, Roskilde University

Friday, 13 May 2016
13:00-15:00, IT University of Copenhagen
Room: 4A14

These public lectures bring together scholars who apply a critical perspective to social media, which has become integral to contemporary activism and civic agency. Far from being neutral platforms on which people can freely and openly interact in
order to create civic agency, social media have their own inherent materiality, shaping how we engage, protest, resist, and struggle. This materiality may entail the wires and silicon of technology, the codes and algorithms of digital platforms, and the commerciality of social media. The public lectures seek to address the mediation and mediatization of protest at the intersection of civic agency and algorithmic control to address questions such as: What are the
challenges and potentials of social media for civic agency and activism within a contested space of media corporations and logics? How do commercial social media platforms shape contemporary forms of protest? And what are the implications for grassroots action?

Everybody is welcome, no registration needed!

Detailed information in the PDF.

Ny rapport: Sociale medier og politisk engagement i Danmark

Danmark er et unikt land, for studier af  det demokratiske potentiale for offentlig politisk debat og engagement, fordi danskerne er stærkt repræsenterede, ikke mindst på Facebook. Tidligere studier har fokuseret på sociale mediers demokratisk potentiale eller har kritiseret sociale mediers mulige negative indflydelse på kvaliteten af den offentlige debat. Resultaterne fra dette survey understøtter ikke tydeligt nogle af disse to yderpunkter. I stedet præsenteres en række ligheder med, hvad vi ved fra tidligere undersøgelser af social interaktion offline1: generelt set er danskerne ikke særligt åbne for at diskutere politik i offentlige sammenhænge. Dette bør ikke fortolkes som at sociale medier ikke lever op til et demokratisk potentiale; i stedet bør vi forstå sociale medier som en forlængelse af offline interaktion. Sociale medier har ændret måden, vi kommunikerer og interagerer på. Digitalisering af disse interaktioner giver os et bredere publikum, end vi tidligere har haft adgang til, og muliggør kommunikation, som er mere uafhængig af tid og rum. Men i takt med at sociale medier optages som en del af hverdagspraksis, er det også naturligt at brugsmønstre tilpasses hverdagsbehov og -interesser.

Fuld Decidis Rapport 2016 (Dansk)

Hovedfund

  • Sociale medier er hverdagspraksis for mange danskere, men aktivitetsniveau og typen af aktiviteter
    varierer.
  • Danskere bruger primært sociale medier til at læse indhold fra andre. De bruges i mindre grad til at producere originalt indhold eller til at interagere med indhold, som er produceret af andre.
  • Unge danskere i Danmark er stærkere repræsenteret og mere aktive på sociale medier end andre aldersgrupper. Generationen mellem 20 og 39 år er mere interesseret end andre grupper i at bruge Facebook til at diskutere politik med fremmede som ikke er familie, venner eller kollegaer.
  • Særligt på Facebook er der en overvægt af brugere, som definerer deres kommunikation som privat og som bruger platformen til at kommunikere med private kontakter såsom venner og familie.
  • Generelt set er det ikke så ofte, at danskerne diskuterer politik med fremmede på sociale medier, og at dette fører til, at de ændrer syn på et politisk emne. Men der er en mindre gruppe, som siger de gør dette.

Social Media & Political engagement in Denmark (DECIDIS survey)

How do Danes engage with and through social media in public political debates? Are Danes becoming participatory content creators or is this a mere ideal of social media use? A preliminary analysis of the data collected in the DECIDIS survey “Social Media and Political Engagement” shows that social media and especially Facebook continues to be a central part of most Danes daily media habits. That is to say, social media does seem to engage some people in political debate, however, most of the Danes prefer using social media platforms to stay in contact with friends and family, and to receive news. In sum, the survey suggests the following three statements about social media use in Denmark:

  1. Social media is widely used in Denmark, however the average age as well as the frequency and type of use differ greatly.
  2. Danes use social media primarily to read (“stay in touch” or “be informed”) rather than produce original content or participate in political debates.
  3. Overall, young Danes are much more present on social media platforms. Espeically, the generation between 20 and 39 years is using social media for political debate.

Full report (PDF)

A more detailed look at the user numbers shows that Facebook is the most popular social media platform in Denmark: 72,4%  older than 15 have a Facebook account and 58% use Facebook at least once a day. The data further shows that Facebook has penetrated all age groups. Almost all young Danes use Facebook (91,2% in the age group 16-19) and still more than half of the over 70 year olds (61,5%) use Facebook. Generally, Facebook is a popular platform for news consumption and staying in contact with friends and family. A slightly different picture can be seen when looking at Instagram and Snapchat. Young Danes use these two services significantly more than older Danes. While 82,4% of the 16 to 19 year olds use Snapchat, less than 1% of the 70 year olds use the instant messenger. In contrast Twitter is generally much less popular. Fewer people have an account and, of those who do, very few people use it daily. In this sense Twitter is a more public platform and therefore mostly used for public relations.

Within the survey three different types of social media use were distinguished: reading, producing and participating. From a democratic perspective, participating (= interacting with the available content) is the most desirable from of engagement. However, according to the findings of the survey Danes use social media mostly to read and watch content. This can be illustrated with the iceberg metaphor: The bottom is formed by readers, the middle by producers creating content and the top the participants actively engaging in discussions.

With regards to political discussions, most people say they never discuss politics with people they do not know online. Few people say they do so often but a larger portion say they may do so though seldom. Unsurprisingly, most people say they never change their mind on a political issue after a discussion online. Some say they do this occasionally and only few say often or always. These finding suggest that social media is not simply generating echo chambers supporting conformation bias, but these platforms can also lead to new ideas and changed opinions of users. Especially younger Danes use Facebook to discuss politics online. 22,6% of the 20 to 29 year old Facebook users engage frequently in political debate.

In conclusion, it can be said that Danes produce content online, however not solely as content producers but as producers of data. Every click online leaves traces and this may be an increasing form of digital content production.

Contact DECIDIS survey: Luca Rossi, lucr@itu.dk
Foto credit: Morten Hjelholt

DECIDIS survey shows social media has become a multifaceted part of Danish society

What? Presentation of survey “Social Media and Politicial Engagement” in Denmark
When? March 9th, 14.00-16.00
Where? IT University Copenhagen, Room 3A54

How do Danish citizens participate politically with and through social media? This is one of the main questions explored in the DECIDIS study “Social Media and Political Engagement”. Starting point of the study is to measure political engagement in social media, especially along the practices of “reading”, “producing” and “participating”. A preliminary analysis of the collected data shows that social media use has matured. This means social media has become an integral part of everyday life, for example about 74% of Danish Facebook users older than 16 years use Facebook daily. This, however, also means that expectations towards political participation online may have to be adjusted – not all users are as engaged as generally assumed or wished for. Especially young Danes seek private spaces online and they find those in services such as Instagram and Snapchat; even though technically speaking Facebook offers a greater variety of privacy settings. The study further shows that social media is widely used to receive and read news; 47% of the 16-18 year old Facebook users say that they use Facebook daily in this matter. About 37% of the 19-29 year old Facebook users and 33% of the 20-39 year old Facebook users do so as well.

DECIDIS researchers Gitte Stald, Luca Rossi and Lisbeth Klastrup will present and discuss the study next Wednesday, March 9th (14.00-16.00, IT University Copenhagen, AUD 4) in greater detail. Everybody interested in the Danish social media sphere is invited, no registration needed. We are looking forward to discuss the findings of the study with you!

DECIDIS survey: Social Media & Political Engagement

Wednesday, March 9th
14.00 – 16.00, IT University Copenhagen
Room: AUD4

Next Wednesday DECIDIS researchers Gitte Stald and Luca Rossi will present first findings of the annual DECIDIS survey researching the Danish social media sphere. The representative survey provides insight into Danish media habits and preferences. The goal of the study is to contribute towards the on-going discussion how social media influences democractic practices. Contact: lucr@itu.dk

Everybody is welcome, no registration needed!

Pilot study on experiences of digital citizenship when socially marginalized

In December 2015, Gitte Bang Stald and Mette Grønbæk Rasmussen, conducted a pilot study on digital citizenship within socially marginalized groups. The aim of the study was to explore how we can study marginalization and vulnerability in relation to digital society. We interviewed three persons with experiences of homelessness and two inmates in a closed prison facility. Exploring the consequences of the “digital divide”, the study went further into how marginalization and restricted access to ICT affects the experience of citizenship in the digital age. Therefore, the interviews focussed on everyday life and the challenges when using digital media. Not surprisingly, the interviews show that life is very different for all informants, which is reflected their media use and their experiences of citizenship and exclusion.

The pilot study showed that the recent 20 years of development in ICT has neither reached the streets nor reached the inside of the closed prisons. For people with no permanent residence, personal communication and information are restricted by the lack of power supply (“if only smartphones used AA batteries”), which means, that the most practical means of communication is non-smart mobile-phones (long-lasting battery) and FM radio (entertaining AND uses AA batteries). For people living under long-term incarceration, communication is shaped by institutionalization and the problem of security. Contact with people and institutions outside the wall is therefore limited to face-to face visits, snail mail and land-line phonecalls (from one of the phonebooth in a common area). Online PC access is possible for short periods of time in the educational facilities, however only through the secured PC network that has been developed exclusively for the Danish prison system. Within Danish prisons all access to websites that have communication outlets are disabled. The informants describe the network as almost useless, except for getting headline news and official government information websites.

People living under incarceration or with out a home occupies highly marginalized in Danish society. The interviewees articulated themselves as being positioned ”outside – looking in”. For them, participation in the digital society seemed like something they are excluded from. However, informants are still aware of activity, possibilities and importance of the digital society and they conduct their role in this in very different ways. Some are actively resisting digital participation and some are fighting to be included. For example, an inmate had been fighting for 5 years, to get access to “parent-intra” (a parent-teacher communication system in Danish schools), without sucess.

Further research in this area will be twofold. One part will look at how digital society plays into the experience of exclusion and the other part will look at how the secured PC network can play a more enabling role in sustaining digital literacy, inclusion and citizenship for the inmates in closed prisons.